January 31st, 2011

Nearing perfection


 

   I found the remnants of a card album in a local antique shop. This mouflon sheep card was a loose one. There was no cover so I don't know what kind of cards they are. They seem too big (9.5 by 13.5 cms/ 3 ¾" by 5 ¼") to be cigarette cards. A French friend tells me she remembers how similar cards were given out as rewards at school (the pages have no printed information and could well be those of a simple cahier).

   Each illustration has an art deco border incorporating plants from the relevant environment, in the mouflon's case the flowers, leaves and pods of the carob tree. I think the composition and execution are exquisite. I've no idea who the artist is. The text on the reverse side is by Eugene Muller.
 



 

Half a lion is still a lion...







  The gorilla illustration is not too lifelike; I think it is of a museum specimen prepared in the days when stuffed gorillas were made to look maniacal.
 



A rare elegance.